February 5, 2010
Park City, Utah (US Ski Team) – American Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City) ignored a 25 mph crosswind to win silver in halfpipe skiing at the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championships. Simon Dumont (Dillon, CO), one of the sport's greatest stars, earned bronze.
NBC will air the halfpipe World Championships contest on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. ET.
Conditions for Saturday’s halfpipe competition could hardly have been more challenging. The halfpipe was subject to a fierce crosswind which affected athletes’ airs and radically impacted speeds across the flat bottom and up the steep 22-foot walls.
Hudak, who qualified first, needed a strong second run to upset what would have been a Canadian 1-2-3. With the final run of the women’s competition, Hudak laid down a very big and technical run, which included a smooth 900, to earn World Championship silver. Canadians Rosalind Groenewoud won gold, while Keltie Hansen got bronze.
"I knew the conditions were going to be tough," said Hudak. "But to be honest, I didn't even think of the weather until someone asked me after my run. I had one of the highest amplitudes of the day."
Each of the medalists was keenly aware that this was more than a typical competition. Halfpipe skiing, along with slopestyle, is under consideration by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be included in the 2014 Winter Olympics hosted by Sochi, Russia. A decision is expected by the IOC sometime over the next couple months.
"There is a ton of attention on our sport right now. The IOC is here looking on," explained Hudak. "We just wanted to come out and put on a good show. Hopefully we will have a shot at 2014 in Sochi [Russia]."
It was also the strong winds that impaired Dumont in his final run, blowing him off course, which kept him from challenging Canada’s Mike Riddle for gold.
"The biggest thing about today was obviously the Olympic push," said Dumont. "If this were any other event, I probably would have pulled out. But our big goal is to end up in the Olympics. Hopefully we proved that we are here, we’re serious and we are going to ski in a hurricane and put on a good show."
Dumont’s bronze medal run began with a huge cork 900 into a right side 900 to a double flip 900 with tail grab to an allyoop 720 and ended with a switch 720.
David Wise (Reno, NV) had a standout second finals run in which he led off with a super technical double cork 1260. Wise ended in fourth after being ousted off the podium when defending World Champion and two-time X Games champ Kevin Rolland wowed the judges with his second run. Joining Dumont and Wise in the finals was Tucker Perkins (North Hampton, NH) in seventh.
U.S. women Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) and Brita Sigourney (Carmel, CA) had solid runs down Park City Mountain Resort’s Eagle Superpipe. The two finished just off the podium in fifth and sixth respectively.
The final event of the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championships, hosted by Deer Valley Resort in Park City, UT, will be dual moguls. Finals begin at 7:30 MST.
FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships
Park City Mountain Resort, Park City, UT – Feb. 5, 2011
Gold: Mike Riddle, Canada, 45.60
Silver: Kevin Rolland, France, 45.20
Bronze: Simon Dumont, Dillon, CO, 43.20
4. David Wise, Reno, NV, 43.00
7. Tucker Perkins, North Hampton, NH, 36.00
Gold: Rosalind Groenewoud, Canada, 44.70
Silver: Jennifer Hudak, Salt Lake City, 42.10
Bronze: Keltie Hansen, Canada, 38.80
5. Devin Logan, West Dover, VT, 35.80
6. Brita Sigourney, Carmel, CA, 35.10